Mercy's New Building Design

February 23, 2012

Mercy and community leaders break

ground on Mercy’s newest building on

Zumbehl Road in St. Charles.

Mercy’s newest service site (at 1820 Zumbehl Road) which broke ground last week in St. Charles will reflect a new look in Mercy building design.  While Mercy has been present in St. Charles for a number of years, the Zumbehl facility will be a prototype for new medical buildings Mercy plans to build in the area as well as across the four states it serves. Based on feedback from patients in community advisory groups, the design team has incorporated several new Mercy design principles into this building.

Each Mercy medical building of the future will have a covered canopy area to make drop off and pick up of patients more convenient, especially on rainy or snowy days. Inside the entryway will be bench seating for patients who are waiting to be picked up. An L-shaped vestibule will be built to prevent wind from blowing through the doors. Another design element is the shape of a cross inside the window frames, which reflects the influence and heritage of the Sisters of Mercy in each building.

All new facilities will have a central seating area, known as a gallery, instead of individual waiting rooms for each physician. This creates more open space and better air circulation. In the open gallery area, patients will be able to check in or register at a central kiosk. They also will have access to MyMercy, an online health management system for Mercy patients. This central registration system will streamline registration and check-in and make it easier for patients to schedule future appointments.

Within individual physician office spaces, wider corridors and larger exam rooms will provide a more open environment for patients and the care team. The layout of each exam room includes a patient zone, a physician zone and a visitor zone, with access to the computer screen unencumbered, so the physician never has his or her back to the patient while looking at the computer. Some of the exam rooms in each pod will have telemedicine capabilities for electronic consultation with specialists.

In each physician pod, teamwork spaces are located within nonpatient areas. These private areas include staff lounges, kitchenettes, meeting spaces and physician offices.

The new Zumbehl Road facility is scheduled to open in October and will house offices for family and internal medicine, cardiology and cardiac diagnostic services, imaging and laboratory services. It will be a one-story building, with approximately 20,000 square feet of space.

Expanding health services in St. Charles County is a top priority for Mercy. Responding to community feedback from focus groups, online surveys and community roundtables, Mercy intends to provide St. Charles residents with greater access to primary care, pediatric services and specialty physicians closer to home.

Mercy’s goal is to enhance health care in St. Charles, Warren and Lincoln counties and to bring services closer to patients and co-workers who live in the area. Approximately 2,200 Mercy co-workers live in the three counties, with 33 Mercy Clinic physicians currently practicing in nine locations. Mercy  also has two urgent care facilities, an endoscopy center and a maternal and fetal health center in the region.

In addition to adding more locations for pediatricians, primary care and specialty physicians, Mercy’s expansion will include new urgent and convenient care centers, and extended hours in Mercy Clinic practices. The planning of these Mercy facilities continues with the help of input from community members through community roundtables held in St. Charles, Warren and Lincoln counties. A St. Charles roundtable was held earlier in February and the roundtables in Warren and Lincoln counties are planned for next week.

Mercy is the eighth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and includes 31 hospitals, more than 200 outpatient facilities, 38,000 co-workers and 1,500 integrated physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.  Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas.

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